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School Libraries

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) independent sixth form colleges do not have a permanent library. (254608)

The Department does not hold up-to-date information on the numbers and proportions of schools and colleges with libraries. It is thought that most, if not all, schools and colleges have library facilities. Schools sometimes opt to have distributed facilities, rather than centralised libraries.

Central Government capital support for investment in schools has increased from under £700 million in 1996-97 to £6.7 billion in 2008-9 and will rise further to £8.0 billion by 2010-11. Progress is being made year-by-year in improving the quality of the school building stock. The bulk of schools capital is now allocated by formula to authorities and schools so that they can address their local priorities, including the upgrading of library facilities.